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On the 1st March 2017 I will finally, weather permitting, set off to row the Atlantic Ocean. Now I know what some of you will be thinking - ...

Friday 24 March 2017

Boat speed is good but who is Ralph?!

Current news from the boat is that all is well, the weather is behaving for them, they are seeing good boat speed and there have even been occassions when they've not wanted to get off the oars! 
Aches and pains abound but a third of the journey was completed on Tues (Day 16) and the hope is that they will hit the 50% waymark early next week meaning they are still on course for the World Record.

Firstly some boat news:

Tues 21st (Day 16)

The mythical trade winds have finally arrived, last night we had 15 - 25knts wind and we achieved an average boat speed of 4.7knts.  It was the first time we all wanted to continue rowing past our 2hour watch!

Some people have asked if they always row in the same pairs but they try and avoid that by switching around every week or so..

From Niall  - Day 16 -  All fine here - we've just had a watch and cabin change so I am now in the big bow cabin- luxury! We are now heading more or less straight for Cayenne so we will probably deviate to the west a bit from the line on the map. Conditions good - could even get under 45 days if weather behaves! Bum killing again last night so cut up an old fleece to make a kind of nappy!

Colin is now rowing with ClĂ©ment and Niall will be rowing with Ralph for the next week.  

Now for a boat fact: 

It is estimated that each rower on board will do ~750,000 (15,000 per day) strokes at a rate of about 22 strokes per minute.  At the end of this crossing, in total, Ralph in his ocean rowing career will have done 8 million stokes.

But more importantly, who is Ralph Tuijn?!

Here is a bit of information on Ralph  - the guy who is making all of this happen - prior to setting off on this 'current' adventure Ralph had already spent 512 (yes, 512!!!!!) days rowing on oceans.  He currently resides in 5th place in the all-time leader board of ocean rowers but after day 30 at sea (in less than 2 weeks time) he'll leapfrog up to 3rd position. (Forget about him displacing 1st and 2nd positions (yet) - they are 968 and 937 days respectively!) 

He has crossed the Atlantic several times and the Pacific Ocean. In fact he, and his team, held the World Record for this exact crossing having completed it in 51 days in 2015.  This was then beaten last spring by a 5-man crew including 3 ex-marines. As you can imagine Ralph is quite keen to get his record back.

This is how he describes himself (very modestly):

"Ralph is 45 years old, he is Dutch, has two young children and is a registered nurse. He is a professional adventurer who has cycled more than 100,000km around the world. He has 10 Arctic expeditions to his name, climbed mountains in almost every continent, he is 1 of 5 rowers in the world to have rowed more than 500 days on the ocean and has just come back from running 1,500km across Australia."

Just reading this makes me tired... and feel suitably inadequate!!! But who better to be leading this expedition. I have never met him but I really can't wait to... he sounds like a legend and I am really looking forward to drinking beer (or rum or whatever....) with him and the rest of the crew in French Guiana!!!

Oh and Happy Red Nose day from the mid-Atlantic

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